The NWMO and Huron-Kinloss Encourage Interest in Science and Tech via Robotics

The photo is of five Grades 7 and 8 girls, side by side, on the floor with robots constructed out of LEGO kits by themselves and fellow classmates.

From left: Paige Stevenson, Sabrina Ruetz, Lola Johnston, Shawna Schuit, and Haley Brough line up with robots created by their Grades 7 and 8 class from F. E. Madill Secondary School in Wingham, Ont., exploring science and technology together with their robotic pals.

Grades 7 and 8 students at F. E. Madill Secondary School in Wingham recently received five EV3 robotics kits through a funding program led by the Huron-Kinloss Nuclear Waste Community Advisory Committee. 

The committee administers funding for such initiatives through its work with the Nuclear Waste Management Organization (NWMO) to learn more about Canada's plan for the safe, long-term management of used nuclear fuel. 

The third generation LEGO robotics kits (hence, EV3 – evolution of the product) give students the power to build, program and command their own LEGO robots. The robots can perform specific manoeuvres and tasks, including driving, walking and spinning. Selected students took their tech to a meet where they all competed to show their proficiency at commanding their robot to complete a specific stated task that was the same for everyone.

Teacher Jamie Hallman, who uses the robotics kits as part of the curriculum, noted the learning advantages of these highly technical tools. “I can’t believe the increased attention, focus, problem solving, and creativity I’ve seen in the classes with the addition of this unit,” he said. As for the students, several noted it was tough, but a lot of fun.

The Early Investments in Education and Skills program is financially supported by the NWMO and administered by Huron-Kinloss. It provides capacity to support education and skills training for Huron-Kinloss residents, and provides funding for youth with an emphasis on learning initiatives that focus on science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM).